Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kindle Addiction, Piano, and Poetry

I can't say enough good about my Kindle. I've been reading so much more since I got it; I think, because I can take it on the go and read between errands and during errands, which keeps me in tune with the stories. In the past, I'd start something, get interrupted, start again, put it down and leave, come back and get side-tracked.

I'm like a kid in the candy store now, and the candy store is tucked away in my purse. (It holds 3,500 books!!) I consider every inconvenience--like slow checkers--an opportunity to pull it out. Delays don't bother me anymore. My husband had to run into the bank yesterday--I pulled it out--started reading--and it seemed like he'd only been gone a minute. He came out and apologized for taking so long!! What?!?

Another feature of the Kindle (and possibly the Nook?) is that it reads the book to you, even if it's not an audio book. While I was preparing dinner for the crock pot today, I let it read to me. It was reading Dostoevsky's, The Brothers Karamazov, "Stinking Lizaveta." It wasn't perfect, but it sure wasn't bad either. I could easily follow along with it. You can make the voice a female or male, and you can have it read slow, medium or fast. Niiicccce.

In other, piano news, I'm still plunking away at lessons, though I was side-tracked during Christmas. My teacher was very happy with me, because she says most adults quit. Not me. I just keep showing up--practice or not! She's like a treasure-trove of information, and I wouldn't miss out on a bit of it. Lately, she's teaching me left-hand fills so I can play chords with more variety. We're also playing duets together. Apparently, this is the year of corroborative piano! Woohoo!

As for riding, haven't been doing any lately. I got together with my cowgirl friends for coffee this morning, and some of them were really missing it. I can't say I am. Oddly enough, I look forward to January and February as time for my reading and writing. I'm working on, and would like to finish, a collection of poems from my garden--inspired by the poetic garden space I blogged about as it was being created. The poems are turning out to be missives on my love for my children and the bitter sweetness of seeing them grow up. You never know where a poem is going to take you--I'm always quite surprised where they go--here's a section of one I'm working on now--"Narcissus":

We planted Daffodils together, you and I,
Yellow and white Narcissus, over her grave.
I thought your hands were like petals then,
The way you cupped the soil.
I thought your heart was like petals, too,
Fragile, soft, easily plucked.

Well, I hear my Kindle calling. I'm coming! Oops, you weren't supposed to hear that.

I got a little side-tracked with the lovely topic of slaughter, but I will be back on to PZP again as we finish up the last of the interview with TJ this week.

Hope your winter trails are ice-free and happy!


  1. I love your poem!

    My husband bought me some sort of e-reader. I'm waiting for it to come in the mail and I can't wait to try it. I keep running out of things to read, but I doubt that will happen once I can get anything I want online. Nice!

  2. Thanks!

    That's exciting! I wonder what he got you. I think they're all good--and, it turns out, the Nook has some advantages over the Kindle (like being able to borrow library books--replaceable battery--expandable memory). I still love my Kindle. And you're right, you'll have so much to read. So many books are free or nearly free--it's amazing!!

  3. I love the Kindle too for the reasons you say - although I haven't tried the read aloud feature yet. Good that you're sticking with the piano - I've stuck with recorder for 5 years now but that's a bit easier to take up.

    January is a good time for reading and writing - the poem is very nice and I hope your book gets done soon.

  4. So often I hear of people who resisted the eReaders, then they buy one and love it, like you. eBook sales are surpassing traditional hardcover in some areas, it's amazing how this change is happening.

    And I love your poem. What a source of inspiration children are. I agree, seeing them grow is bittersweet, but at the same time, I find our relationships deepen in a wonderful way as they become adults.

  5. Kate--Good for you for sticking with it for five years!! And, thanks for the good wishes on finishing my collection--I need them. It takes me a long time to write poems--each sounds great (to me) when I first finish it--then I put it away...let it sit...pull it out, and not so great....revise, revise...sit....revise, revise...sit--I really don't like the revision phase. But that's what January and February are for!

  6. We took the horses to their 'regular' winter pasture a couple days ago; thousands of wild mountain acres. Usually we hike in to see them once a week; this year, however, I am physically unable to do the hike, so will only get to see them happenstance if they are near the highway when we make our weekly journey to town for supplies. Talk about bitter-sweet; the difference it makes 'knowing' you can't just go see them. I miss them terribly, but like you, I also relish the respite for reading and puzzles - and knowing it is the best possible thing we can do for the crew. By the time we get them back this spring, I will be the bionic woman; having both hips replaced this winter. Doc says I can ride 6 weeks after the second surgery - just in time to get the kids back! Talk about incentive!

  7. Joanne--you're right--the relationship does change (though I'm at the cusp of this transition now). I titled that poem Narcissus: Letting Go Of Ourselves, and I left out 2/3 of it--the part I left out has to do with the narcissitic portion of our love for our children--and then, having to let that go and see them as separate. We (I) find that they are not us--and they love to tell us they are not us. ;)

    As for the Kindle, and electronic publishing in general, it has opened my eyes in ways I could not have imagined. I'm embarassed I resisited it for so long. As soon as I saw the potential, I told my husband we needed to try to publish something of his and get a feel for this. We're doing that right now, and seriously considering getting involved in digital publishing in other ways, too. More about this later....

  8. I've been sitting on the fence about buying a've been the catalyst I needed to make the decision! Thank you!

  9. Juanita--both hips replaced?!? Oh my!! Best wishes for that!! And very exciting that you'll heal up just in time to ride!! I think what you do with the horses during winter is wonderful. I'd do the same if it was available to me, but what I do already is very much like it. By the end of February I usually start getting antsy--sick of snow, hungry for sunshine and hitting the trail, but it doesn't really warm up around here until March/April.

  10. WilsonC--I think you'll really like your Kindle (or whichever e-reader you get). There are some real advantages to the Nook, too, and you can now get a color Nook with a touchscreen. Unfortunately, it's backlit--which puts strain on your eyes. I would expect that someday they'll come out with a tablet or pad that can switch back and forth between backlight. There's also a problem with page notation if you're doing research--the page numbers on an ereader don't match up with page numbers in a hard copy text. I'm sure they'll come up with answers for these things because this is the more heavy backpacks for kids...driving to will all be at our fingertips.

  11. I love my nook for the same reasons you love your Kindle. I no longer mind waiting on the kids or in line. Heck, I didn't even mind getting on the elliptical machine at the gym the other day.

    I love your red cover - mine's red, too, but I don't have the fancy light.

    Apparently with the nookcolor, you can switch between the e-ink and the backlit screen. I have the old nook and I love it. I don't want to trade up to the color one.

    I've even done some web surfing on the nook. Cumbersome, but it allowed me to check my work email without getting out of bed and booting up my laptop. And then, of course, I got right back to reading my book.

    There is a great site for free/cheap books at It's primarily nookbooks, but she always has links to Kindle books as well.

  12. Gun Diva--so you can switch back and forth between the backlit screen? That's awesome. The iPad needs to do that, too. I'm wondering what would happen if someone switched from a Kindle to a Nook....would you get to take all your books with you? They have different formats. Would the Nook run the Kindle ap??

    Thanks for the free book links--I've taken advantage of lots of free to nearly free books already.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.